Saturday, August 24, 2013

Yellowstone National Park: Day 2-3

Bottom of Uncle Tom's Trail
On Day 2 we had planned to do two hikes near Canyon Village: Uncle Tom's Trail and the Ribbon Lake Trail. Uncle Tom's Trail was a steep hike to a great view of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. The trail wasn't very long but it was straight down and full of people. The view from the bottom of the trail was worth the climb out and would suggest to anyone to make the short hike down. The next trail that we did was the Ribbon Lake Trail which followed the South Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone all the way to Ribbon Lake. This trail was an easy hike and didn't have the crowds that Uncle Tom's had. The trailhead can be found at the Artist Point parking lot, and there are plenty of points during the trail where you are literally on the edge of the canyon looking out into the distance. Everyone thought that the views on this trail were incredible and we stopped numerous times to take photos. At the end of this two mile hike you get to Ribbon Lake which holds Rainbows up to about 8 inches. These fish were pretty easy to catch as long as you could cast out far enough and find a spot where the lilly pads weren't blocking your line.

Artist Point

Ribbon Lake

View from Ribbon Lake Trail

Ribbon Lake Rainbow
Day 3: We woke up early and drove down to Grand Teton National Park. Half of the group went on a strenuous 18 mile - Paintbrush Canyon hike, while the other half fished the Snake River. Both groups found this day to be rough but still enjoyed the scenery that the Tetons had to offer. 

The Snake River
The Snake River is a deep and powerful river that is typically fished by boats with not many wade fisherman taking the challenge. Before arriving I had thought that this river was going to a little easier than was the case. It is VERY difficult to wade around this stream because of the force that the water has. I hooked into one cutthroat but couldn't bring him to the net, and that was about the only action we got the entire day. We stopped in at a local fly shop and talked to some of the guides who said that about 100 boats go down the river each day throwing attractor patterns at the banks. For a wade fisherman to come in and hope to get the same results as someone in a boat, it seemed to be very unlikely. It's always hard fishing a new stream, especially one that was this big so I tried to forget about the fishing and enjoy what was around us. I know that if I ever make the trip back to this river, I'll be in a boat.

The Paintbrush Divide
The other half of the group spent the day on a brutal 18-20 mile hike up Paintbrush Canyon and down Cascade Canyon. They started the day at String Lake and ended at the Jenny Lake Trailhead, taking about 12 hours to complete the hike. When they had about two miles left in the hike I met up with them to take the pack off of their shoulders and lead them back to the trailhead. Both guys were completely exhausted, but were able to finish the hike still standing up!

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